Patterico's Pontifications


Federal Judge to Local Community: You Can’t Do Anything About Illegals in Your Community

Filed under: Constitutional Law,Court Decisions,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 10:12 am

The New York Times reports:

A federal judge in Pennsylvania yesterday struck down ordinances adopted by the City of Hazleton to bar illegal immigrants from working or renting homes there, the most resounding legal blow so far to local efforts across the country to crack down on illegal immigration.

. . . .

Judge [James M. ] Munley ruled that ordinances first passed last July by the Hazleton City Council interfered with federal law, which regulates immigration, and violated the due process rights of employers, landlords and illegal immigrants.

How does it “interfere[] with” federal law to deny rights to people who should not be here according to federal law?

“Whatever frustrations officials of the City of Hazleton may feel about the current state of immigration enforcement,” Judge Munley wrote in the 206-page decision, “the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme.”

How does it “disrupt” federal law to deny rights to people who should not be here according to federal law?

It’s another illustration of what I discussed here the other day. The problems caused by illegal immigration (like jail and prison overcrowding, for example) are local problems, according to federal judges. But if local officials try to solve them by making their communities less attractive to illegals, all of a sudden it’s a federal issue that locals can’t do anything about — again according to federal judges.

UPDATE: Fred Thompson gets it.

UPDATE x2: I don’t know that the decision is wrong — just that its result is unfair.


Another Smug and Dishonest Lecture from Rick Ellensburg — Or Is It Thomas Ellers?

Filed under: Scum — Patterico @ 4:05 pm

Hey, I’m a contributor to a hate site!

Or I would be, if you believed Rick Ellensburg.

This is Allahpundit’s reward for constantly patrolling Hot Air for inappropriate comments, as well as lecturing, threatening to ban, and sometimes banning the offenders.

He gets to have some self-righteous sock-puppet claim that he devotes his life to a “hate site.”

UPDATE: Greenwald claims he is merely making a point about hypocrisy, nothing more. But it’s a false argument, as is evident from the history of this disgusting hypocrite.

Greenwald is trying to have it both ways, as he always does when he talks about how hateful right-leaning blogs are. He tries to claim he’s just noting hypocrisy — but he clearly revels in doing the exact things he accuses the right of doing. He truly believes that Hot Air is a hate site and that Malkin is a racist.

It’s exactly like the time that he condemned the right for failing to denounce the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. He claimed that he was just engaging in irony — but that argument was dishonest tripe, as I showed in this post. Greenwald hysterically pursued the argument that I had a duty to denounce Misha, and anyone who thought he was being ironic was naive — as naive as those who are giving him the benefit of the doubt now.

A Tale of Airport Security

Filed under: Air Security,Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 12:04 am

My mother is visiting for a few days and I picked her up at the airport last night. As we drove home, she told me a little story about her dealings with the TSA at the D/FW airport.

First they took her can of frosting and made her throw it away. (Don’t ask me why she was bringing frosting.)

Next they wanted to seize a fairly expensive bottle of moisturizing liquid. “Liquids must be three ounces or less,” the guy told her.

“But this is a six-ounce bottle and it’s less than half full,” she said.

“We have to go by what it says on the bottle,” he said.

My mom also had with her one of those single-size two-ounce bottles of mouthwash. “Can I just pour out the mouthwash and put the moisturizing liquid in this two-ounce bottle?” she asked.

“It doesn’t work that way,” she was told.

So she threw the bottle of moisturizing liquid away.

But my mom is a frugal lady. My sisters and I spent our childhood in the car, being carted from one store to the next while my mom looked for the best bargains.

So she asked another TSA guy: “My luggage to be checked is right over there. Could I put the moisturizing liquid in it?” He said it was okay. So she dug the bottle of mouthwash out of the trash, went out of security — and went to a bathroom, where she performed the prohibited act of transferring the moisturizing liquid into the mouthwash bottle. Most of it fit into the two-ounce bottle.

She then went back through security. The guy who had told her that she wasn’t allowed to transfer the liquids was still there. A different person looked at her carry-on bag with the liquids, and asked Mr. Don’t Transfer the Liquids if her carry-on bag was OK. “Yeah, I already checked it,” he said, without giving it a second look.

She told me this story as we raced along the 110 Freeway. She added: “But they let me bring some cheese and grapes on board.” I munched on a few of the grapes as she said: “I wonder how they knew these grapes weren’t all little bombs.”

I laughed and munched on a few more grapes.

There was a lull in the conversation as I drove further down the freeway.

Then my mom said: “But they didn’t give me any trouble over my hypodermic needle . . .”


Victory on John Doe Provision

Filed under: Air Security,Terrorism — Patterico @ 8:49 pm

Hot Air has the details.

A True Assault on Prosecutorial Independence

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:05 am

Glenn Greenwald has argued that the showdown between Congress and President Bush over executive privilege is an example of one branch of government asserting extraordinary and unprecedented powers that properly belong to another branch. He says that the overreaching branch is mounting an “assault on prosecutorial independence.”

He’s right about that. But he’s wrong about which branch is out of control. It’s not the executive branch. It’s Congress.

We are witnessing an attempt by Congress to take over a core function of the executive branch: the duty to execute the laws, which includes the discretion over when to prosecute violations of criminal law. Despite what Big Media would have you believe, this controversy isn’t about President Bush exerting undue influence over United States Attorneys. It’s about Congress trying to usurp the executive’s constitutional powers, by trying to force the Department of Justice to bring a prosecution that DoJ believes should not be brought. And it’s about congressional attempts to destroy any notion of executive privilege, by summoning executive officials before various congressional committees to interrogate them about high-level executive deliberations.

President Bush’s arguments on these issues are consistent with similar assertions of privilege made by at least six presidential administrations — both Republican and Democrat — since the 1950s. His position is supported by case law, logic, and the structure of the Constitution.

The controversy has two aspects: whether executive privilege prevents Congress from questioning Harriet Miers about high-level executive deliberations, and whether Congress may mandate that the executive branch prosecute her for her failure to appear.

First, let’s get a quick refresher on executive privilege — and who better to give it than our old friend Pat Leahy, in a lecture delivered during the Clinton years, back when Leahy actually believed in executive privilege:


My E-Mail Exchange with Prof. Peter Shane

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:00 am

This post is a supplement to this morning’s post on executive privilege.

I recently corresponded with Prof. Peter Shane on issues of executive privilege. I am setting forth the entire exchange here, below the fold. I think only a fraction of you might actually be interested in reading the whole lengthy exchange, but I’m posting it for a couple of reasons. First, having the source e-mails available for you to inspect helps ensure that I cannot take any quotes out of context. Second, if you’re really, really into this topic, there are no doubt some subtleties below that I didn’t cover in my brief summary post here. Also, you get a flavor for where Prof. Shane is coming from. Since he’s an expert quoted by the L.A. Times, that’s a useful thing.

If you’re interested in executive privilege, you should probably bypass this post and read this one instead. If you’re still interested in the issue after reading that lengthy screed, come back to this one. It will still be here.



Adhahn Faces Murder Charges

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,Immigration — Patterico @ 5:43 pm

Catching up with the news: Terapon Adhahn has been charged with the murder of 12-year-old Zina Linnik.

Good thing we didn’t deport him back in the 1990s.

Another Victim

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 5:39 pm

Remember that immigrant whose child rape charges were dismissed for lack of a translator in an obscure West African language? It turns out that his alleged victims included, not just a seven-year-old girl, but also a one and one-half year-old girl.

Hunter’s First Rule of Holes: Keep Digging

Filed under: General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 12:12 pm

After being called on the carpet for her misleading description of a trial lawyer as a “staunch Republican” — despite the fact that he had donated to Democrats over Republicans by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 — Jennifer Hunter first doubled down . . . and now doubles down again.

Namely, she says today that it was a “truthful statement” that trial lawyer Jim Ronca is a “staunch Republican” who “was so fed up by the Bush White House that he was going to support and give money to Democrats.” Those who disagreed, based on his overwhelming pattern of contributions to Democrats, do not care about the truth; rather, Hunter says, they are simply “demagogic Republicans.”

I think that’s “quadrupling down.”

I believe I finally understand her point. In Ms. Hunter’s dictionary, “staunch” is defined as “occasional.”

Under this definition, Ms. Hunter is a staunch truth-teller.

It’s so entertaining to find yet another Big Media journalist who never digs so deep as when she’s digging herself a hole.

Thanks to several readers.

Judge to State of California: It’s *Your* Fault the Federal Government Is Screwing You So badly

Filed under: Court Decisions,Crime,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:10 am

A couple of liberal federal judges have control of the state’s prison system, and they’re considering a plan that could release thousands of prisoners upon society all at once:

Federal judges who have been trying for more than a decade to improve medical care in California’s overcrowded prisons called Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest plans insufficient and cleared the way Monday for a three-judge panel to cap the state’s prison population.

The rare move has the potential to trigger the release of inmates, though experts say less drastic measures also might appease the judges, who years ago found medical and mental care in California’s 33 prisons unconstitutional.

I love this oh-so-ironic line penned by Judge Lawrence Karlton:

“The court wishes to observe again that overcrowding is the state’s problem, and in the interim, the court again urges the state to find its own solution to the crisis,” he wrote.

Why is it ironic? Because it’s the federal government’s fault that we’re in this mess, of course. Yet the judge is right: somehow, it’s still our problem.

How is it the federal government’s fault? I’m so glad you asked.

You see, were it not for the thousands of illegals that California is paying to incarcerate in state prison — illegals that the federal government should be keeping out and deporting — we wouldn’t be in this mess at all. We’d be well within safe and reasonable capacity for the prisons.

Here’s how the math works. Let’s look at a revealing passage from Judge Karlton’s opinion yesterday. Skim it if you have to; it’s deadly dull. Don’t worry, I’ll summarize it after the block quote:

Defendants plan to add 12,000 prison “in-fill” beds by 2009. . . . It is not at all clear, however, that an additional 12,000 beds, even if timely completed, will alleviate the population crisis. As noted above, in June 2004 the independent panel on corrections found that a male inmate population of approximately 141,000 exceeded by 4,000 the “safe and reasonable” capacity of the California prison system . . . The male prison population projected for March 2009 is over 162,000 inmates and exceeds the population analyzed in the 2004 report by approximately 21,000 inmates, or 9,000 more inmates than new beds planned.

This is a long-winded and judicial way of saying that in 2009, there will be 13,000 too many inmates.

But here’s the thing: the Washington Post says: “More than 10 percent of California’s prison population is in the United States illegally.” Calculating 10% is easy math; even an English major like me can do it. You chop off the last zero and you’re done. So: more than 10% of 162,000 (the number of male inmates projected in 2009) is more than 16,200.

So in 2009, there will be 13,000 too many male inmates . . . and more than 16,000 illegal inmates.

Do the math. If none of those illegals were here, we’d be within the “safe and reasonable” capacity of the system by about 3,000 inmates.

But the state can’t monitor the border. That’s a federal function. The state can’t deport illegals. That’s a federal function.

Why, if the people of the state even try to restrict benefits to illegals, a la Proposition 187, some federal judge will tell us that we’re stepping on exclusively federal domain.

Meanwhile, illegals overrun our society, including our prison system, and another federal judge tells us that “overcrowding is the state’s problem.”

Are you getting the irony yet?

It’s like one cop cuffing your hands behind your back, and his partner slapping you around because you won’t raise your hands above your head.


Or, I would call it, a pure outrage.

P.S. Where did I get this analysis? Why, from the L.A. Times, of course!

I’m kidding! Jeez, calm down. I hope I didn’t cause anybody to stroke out.

No, of course, despite the fact that illegal immigration is a huge and obvious factor in our prison overpopulation problem, the L.A. Times doesn’t breathe a word of it. Never will.

You’ll have to come here for that.

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